Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.18, Issue 04, 2012; Page No.(987-991)


M. Premalatha, S.M. Tauseel, Tasneem Abbasi., and S. A. Abbas


When the present millennium began, the world's focus vs a viz solid waste was on 74.4SW (municipal solid waste) When the N1SW problem had started becoming serious from the 1970, onwards it was hoped that soon technology will find ways to solve it. liut as the world shaped up to solve the MSW problem, it met with increasing desperation because the methods which had once looked appropriate for 'clean disposal of MSW?sanitary landfill and :min.-ration—soon began showing cracks and leaks, literally and metaphori-cally, in quick succession. So, despite vigorous attempts to solve it, the MSW problem is not only very much there, it is getting worse by the minute Now the world is being confronted with another solid waste problem of much more alarming portents—of the waste electrical and electronic (WEE) items—also called E-waste, Interestingly the major source of E-waste is the IT industry which, tin just a few years ago. was perceived as a totally clean industry in comparison to the much-maligned chemical industries That was because little pollution was generated when computers, printers, cell phones etc were used. One saw no foul smelling gases or murky waters coming out of software companies as one saw coming out of chemical industries. But now the world has learnt, rather painfully, that over their total life cycle electronic items are a source of enormous pollution. Even when they are being operated, with batteries or electricity, they keep causing pollution, albeit well away from their point of use, because batteries as well as electricity entail no less substantial environmental costs than the components of rr hardware. It is estimated that as much as 2% of the total global carbon footprint now is due to the rr industry. flow did the e-waste problem ongi. nate? Is there anything ctimmon in the mechanisms that hm,e caused other global environmental problems — ozone hole, global warming. ocean acidification, NISW overrun, etc — and the e-waste problem? Where the win non lie? All tho..e questions Are ex plor,•:1 en”: paper

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